Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Vanilla & Coffee Beans
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Vanilla & Coffee BeansDark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Vanilla & Coffee Beans
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #40
Ranked #675
4.38 | pDev: 9.82%
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Vanilla & Coffee BeansDark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Vanilla & Coffee Beans
Notes: This special batch was aged in bourbon barrels and conditioned on vanilla beans and whole coffee beans. A truly decadent brew that is intended to be poured into your favorite snifter and given time to warm up from it's dark and cool resting place.

30 IBU
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 265 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of drdiesel9483
drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - black thick with a slight head lacing and head
Smell - coffee vanilla with a roasty malt with a slight caramel woody scent
Taste - roasty malts with a coffee vanilla caramel barrel taste
Feel - medium body and a light carb
Overall - tasty beer

Monday at 01:41 AM
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SFACRKnight from Colorado

3.2/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I'm not sure what happened here. Reading other reviews it seems my experience was atypical.
Pours black with a slight tan head. Not much coffee but vanilla wafts from the snifter a mile away. As it warms it's all sweet vanilla fudge and other confections. Flavor is super sweet vanilla. Not much roast or hops to balance this beer out. Cloying as it warms. Mouthfeel is thin and the carbonation is prickly like drinking a cola. Overall this beer drinks like a soda and less like a beer. Probably wont revisit.

Dec 12, 2020
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trevormajor from Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12.7 Fl Oz bottle, 2020 vintage, poured into a tulip glass at 50 degrees F:
L - black with a hazelnut head that dissipated, leaving a slight ring around the glass
S - nice blend of malt, bourbon, coffee, vanilla
T - vanilla on the nose, followed by mild bourbon in the middle and then finishing with dry coffee. absolutely delicious
F - signature Jackie O's, thick full bodied mouthfeel with minimal carbonation, flavors linger on your tongue
O - another great beer from a great brewery. Can't wait until they get to CBus!!

Nov 13, 2020
Photo of firesidewithphil
firesidewithphil from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another variant from the DA line lists as vanilla, coffee bean, and bourbon. The flavors are front and center, in what I consider: blending a sweet vanilla BA stout with a pure coffee stout. The result is very balanced, roasty, sweet, and bitter. The bourbon is a bit lost but that doesn't take away from the overall quality.

IG: @firesidewithphil

Nov 08, 2020
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bret27 from California

4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Early 2020 bottle courtesy of Draftdaddy.
Great balanced and melded flavors of coffee, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, coffee.
Fairly thin bodied. Not “boozy”.
Very good BA stout.

Oct 28, 2020
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CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

19 October 2020 - Beer #199

Price: $16.25 Craft Beer Cellar in Washington, D.C.

Appearance: 5 - so dark brown it's basically black, opaque. No head but beautiful lacing.

Nose: 4 - pretty roasty, but that's about it.

Taste: 5 - almost all barrel. Wow. I mean, pow! The coffee sneaks in at the back end to balance out the sweetness. Well played.

Mouth: 4 - a little thin, but sticks around forever

Overall: 5 - so glad this popped up at the store the day I was in town.


Oct 21, 2020
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CraigDeMoss from Kansas

4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pretty normal looking. Slight head that fizzled to a foamy ring, carbonation galaxy swirl effect thing goin on. Nose is smooth bourbon oak, rich vanilla and chocolate caramel. Really decadent caramel chocolate brownie batter bourbon balls with some marshmallow. Soft and full body, creamy, great balanced bitterness, dangerous! May be one of the most enjoyable bba stouts I’ve had. Giverago

Sep 17, 2020
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours as black as Immortals face paint from the 375ml stubby into a becher glass. A crown forms on the beer to a finger high with a frothy and creamy texture. Spotty lacing.

S- The barrel and malts are the showcase here more than the rest. Sticky and spicy Bourbon barrel with some woody and peppery caramel hints. The vanilla acts nicely to bridge the barrel, booze and malts together. Roast barley, dark chocolate, toasted nuts, charred wood, caramel, slight dark dry fruits and classic Bourbon. Coffee somewhat an afterthought here.

T- The vanilla bean and the barrel work and marry together especially well acting to soften the impact of the roast grains and the booze. Pure, fresh vanilla notes open up for heavy coffee bean notes which weren't as intense on the aroma. That all folds right into the spicy, charred oak wood and caramel Bourbon notes. Dark chocolate, roast barley, nuts, toast, toffee, espresso and a touch of booze.

MF- Medium bodied for this style with a low to moderate carbonation hit. The texture is slightly creamy and slick and fairly smooth. Booze makes the finish pretty warm and cuts into the softness of the beer just a bit.

Plenty of Bourbon and a lot of vanilla. The barrel is pretty dominant and you leave each sip with that charred spicy sticky whiskey flavor coating the palate. The coffee and stout feels a bit secondary but that feels a bit harsh because the balance is pretty darn good here overall.

Sep 07, 2020
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fountainofyouth from District of Columbia

4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very small tan head. Solid black body.

Smell: Bourbon oak, vanilla bean, semisweet chocolate. Very nice.

Taste: Complex and balanced. Dark roasty malt, bourbon, only a bit of coffee, milk chocolate.

Feel: Smooth although dry on the finish, probably a bit of booze. Creamy, full-bodied, and only light carbonation.

Jul 22, 2020
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$ 21.49 (Including shipping)/12.7 oz bottle ($ 1.69/oz). Received 5/30/20 from Craftshack, San Diego, CA. Reviewed 6/5/20.
Undated bottle. Stored at home at 42 degrees and served at 60 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.25.
First pour – Brown (SRM 20), slight haze.
Body – Deep Brown (SRM 40), opaque. When held to direct light, same.
Head – Small (Maximum 1.5 cm, aggressive center pour), brown, fizzy, high density, short retention, quickly gone leaving one small area of bubbles fed by a thin stream of effervescence. This tiny stream lasts almost the entire drinking time.
Lacing – None, as expected for a 12.8% ABV coffee brew.
Aroma – 4.25 – Initially sweet and roasted caramel malty, overlapped by a burst of bitter coffee, a bit of bourbon, no vanilla, no yeast, no hops.
Flavor – 4.25 – Slightly sweet, mild coffee, mild bourbon, no vanilla, no hops, no yeast. No alcohol (12.8% ABV, as marked on the label) taste or aroma. No diacetyl or dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3.5 – Medium, slightly creamy, soft lively carbonation.
Final impression and summation – 4 (Minus 0.25 point for undated personal container) Palate seems a bit light for an alleged Russian Imperial Stout. Flavors are mild and easy to swallow – so mild it is hard to justify the price point. Oddly enough, no gastric warming. Looks like most RIS on the market. I’m disappointed.

Jun 05, 2020
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mkh012 from Colorado

4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2020 vintage.

Pours near-black with a thin tan head.

The nose is vanilla, brown sugar, chocolate, and mild soy sauce.

The taste is chocolate, coffee, vanilla, cherry, and bourbon. Very mild boozy heat.

The mouthfeel is medium+ with subtle drying oak.

Overall, very good. Refined. The coffee, vanilla, and bourbon barrel meld seamlessly with the base.

May 24, 2020
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black, no head. French roast coffee, lush vanilla, bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate, wood, and walnut in the nose. Taste sees the depth of these flavors add dimensions: heat and coolness, roast and creaminess, smooth and sharp, roast and earth. Goes down dangerously easy, viscous, boozy, creamy, and somewhat syrupy. The wife liked it

Apr 16, 2020
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12.7 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Fort Point Market, Boston, MA
Served in a snifter

Dark brown bordering on black appearance. Slightly thin in body for the style. The beer was capped by a small, frothy, saddle brown head that quickly broke apart. A thin collar encircled the liquid. Dots of lacing stuck along the glass.

Outstanding aroma. Vanilla notes came through big time. Fresh vanilla bean to be specific. Rich and malty. Touch of roastiness. Bourbon/barrel notes were also apparent. Some brown sugar sweetness too. The vanilla really intensified as the beer warmed, as did the bourbon and brown sugar. Semisweet chocolate was also noticeable.

The flavor profile was similar to the nose. Malty and rich. Big dark malt presence. Slightly roasty. Loads of fresh, high quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean. Boozy bourbon notes and cocoa powder kicked in mid palate. Some brown sugar sweetness came through here as well. More roast on the back end and the finish. Boozy/bourbon notes and brown sugar lingered after the swallow.

Interesting mouthfeel. Somewhat lighter in body for the style. The beer contained a moderate, larger bubbled effervescence that initially felt a bit prickly. With time, the carbonation settled and the liquid turned frothy and smooth.

Although the coffee was nowhere to be found in this beer, the vanilla and bourbon notes were kickin’. Give this one plenty of time to open up, and it turns into something pretty amazing.

Mar 26, 2020
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LongTaco15 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

No head what so ever. Not even a hiss at opening.
Vanilla, chocolate, and oak on the nose.
Tastes pretty good. Vanilla, bitter chocolate, oak and bourbon. Coffee is in there somewhere.
Syrupy mouthfeel. Wish it had a little carbonation.
Overall, really solid and glad I bought one.

Feb 29, 2020
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12.7 oz bottle in a snifter. This luxurious beast
pours a rich obsidian with a thin head of off white foam
that subsides to a thin ring. Nose of moderate coffee,
nice vanilla bean, dark fudge, rich bourbon, char, and oak.
Flavors pack it in with dark semisweet fudge, dark brown sugars,
char, dark coffee, vanilla bean, moderate char, and rich
boozy bourbon with oak. Excellent mouth feel; full body,
smooth as satin, rich, light carbonation, warming, coating,
and finishing medium high on the sweet scale and subtly dry
from the warming booze.

Overall----WOW---another winner from a fantastic little brewery!


Feb 21, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Released 1/10/20; drank 2/2/20 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

An even pour yielded a small dark tan head; frothy lace.

Vanilla, chocolate syrup & caramel notes in the nose.

Creamy, thick mouthfeel.

Chocolate syrup, vanilla, oak & faint bourbon notes in the nose.

Sweet & a bit syrup-y on the flavorings, but overall a good quaff. I'd have another.

Feb 03, 2020
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 2018 bottle into the test glass,
A - Dark and mysterious, bakers chocolate color, gently poured yields a thin mocha cap.
S - Faint bourbon, vanilla, dark roast coffee, a touch of blackberry, shade tobacco, cocoa, roast nuts.
T - Complex, but follows the nose well, add toffee, and burnt brown sugar.
M - Body is medium to thin, slick on the palate without cloying, sweet start runs the table, excellent linger
O - I will be finding more, this is an outstanding stout from a talented team

Aug 18, 2019
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2019 Bottling

Pours a thinner, neutral black body topped with ½ finger of soft caramel froth, almost immediately receding to a small but consistent dense, foamy collar and a thin, sparse webbing of short-lived lacing.

Aromas of sweet, roasty tones dominate from the start; brownie batter, toasty fudge, burnt caramel, and topped with a fervent edge of deep roasted coffee; vanilla and bourbon in the background, with some fleeting notes of dark cherry offering the occasional dark fruit impression.

Taste is big with dark chocolate and bits of smoked toffee upfront; heavily roasted coffee, light bourbon and even lighter dark cherry expand on the profile, especially the mid-palate; smooth roasty coffee bean and vanilla cream pop through a finish with an expressiveness as when it first hit the tongue.

Mouthfeel brings a body on the lighter end of medium with medium carbonation; slick to start, but becomes fairly roasty rather quickly and stays that way, which adds a hefty but balanced grit gliding along the palate; thins slowly through the finish, but the active, roasty tones keep the body interesting on the palate.

Big flavor brought back a bit by a mouthfeel just a tad too thin; the coffee and vanilla bean additions add a clever, rounded depth to the profile (compared with the regular BBA Dark Apparition) and leave plenty of engaging flavor, but simply lacks the fuller body to back it all up.

May 02, 2019
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition with Vanilla & Coffee Bean is the best Dark Apparition in my opinion. Full of flavor, strong, alcohol well hidden, heavy and yet quite drinkable

Look: jet black with a thin mocca colored head

Aroma: nice chocolate and bourbon aroma

Flavor: It's roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon, alcohol hidden. A little bit sweet but not too much.

Feel: full bodied, silky

Mar 19, 2019
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Holderness from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L -- Black body with a small light brown head produced with moderate pour. Small ring of retention and minimal lacing
S -- Lots of vanilla and bourbon. Also getting oak, dark chocolate, maple, coffee, nougat
T -- Vanilla carries over strong in the flavors, which integrates very nicely with the bittersweet chocolate from the malts and the fairly aggressive bourbon barrel character. Less charred bitterness than the regular BBA Apparition. Not really getting any coffee
F -- Big mouthfeel, minimal silky carb. Semi-sweet and well-rounded
O -- Another pricey but tasty BBA stout from Jackie O's. The vanilla really brings things together here


Mar 05, 2019
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ONUMello from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 edition poured into a snifter
A: Pitch black, very thin head
S: Coffee, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate
T: Same notes as the nose, adds some butterscotch and caramel
M: Full-bodied, smooth
O: As always a quality RIS from Jackie O’s

Mar 03, 2019
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a creamy light khaki colored foam head. Smells absolutely delicious with some sweet sugary almost maple notes, rich smooth bourbon, fresh creamy vanilla, roasted coffee, with oak barrel notes surrounding the dark chocolate, dark molasses and caramely structure. Roasted nut notes are nuanced in there, almost peanut buttery at times, almost buttery toffee, sweet brittle, pancakes, graham crackery, with minute dark fruit notes. This truly smells stupendous to me right now from the bottle in a glass. The taste is pretty exquisite, with lots of rich flavors coming at you at once, dark fruits, bracing coffee, fresh creamy vanilla, rich bourbon oak barrel, dark chocolate, dark molasses, caramel, toffee, dark raisin, dark toasted nutty malts, some maple sugar, brown bread, with earthy herbal hop notes balancing. Feels medium bodied, creamy slick with moderate smooth carbonation. Overall a real nice bourbon barrel aged Russian imperial stout conditioned on vanilla and coffee beans.

Feb 26, 2019
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Tony210 from New Jersey

2.46/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I have had the original version before and loved it. This bottle is infected. It is very sour and it shouldn't be. Sucks.
Update; I contacted the brewery - they were aware of the infection issue and issued a recall in the spring.

12.7 oz bottle, 2018 bottle date
2 rating

Oct 10, 2018
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Rristow from Ohio

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The hauntingly good brew in your hand is rife with dark complexities. Seven malts were used to create deep flavors of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. A hint of bitterness and herbal character from carefully selected European and American hops help support the monolithic maltiness. This special batch was aged in bourbon barrels and conditioned on vanilla beans and whole coffee beans. A truly decadent brew that is intended to be poured into your favorite snifter and given time to warm up from its dark and cool resting place.

Mar 21, 2018
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours espresso colored with a rather thin tan had that fades to a ringlet; leggy, with spots of lacing dribbling down

Smell: Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and walnut; just a hint of coffee

Taste: The Bourbon rocks the front end, with chocolate, vanilla, walnut and coffee tones building, through the middle; the Bourbon builds, after the swallow, and the finish is filled with caramel and brown sugar sweetness

Mouthfeel: Full boded with low to moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: This is the 2017 bottling - I tasted it side by side with the 2015 non-barrel version; perhaps this one needs a similar amount of time to settle down but I found this to be too hot and sweet, with the Bourbon mis-placed (I like the Bourbon in the back of the palate, not in the forefront); still, worthy beer, just didn't compare as well as I had hoped

Thanks, N-Gogol, for the opportunity

Feb 11, 2018
Dark Apparition - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - Vanilla & Coffee Beans from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 265 ratings